Monday, January 15, 2007

Intact Spiritually

Intact Spiritually?
Over the past few months I have seen the reaction ofthe more entrenched patriarchal members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion to Katharine Jefferts Schori. They have focused on her theology as the reason they will not sit down with her.

What a joke! If I wasn't so hurt and frustrated by all that is going on, I would laugh in their faces. KJS is not alone in her expressions of faith nor is TEC or ACC. Point blank, dot, dot, the reason these men will not sit with her is tht she's a woman. They don't even have the courage of their conviction to be honest about it. They're afraid of losing the support of various groups who have given them their power in the Communion. They're afraid of public opinion and having their actions dismissed by more accepting members of the Communion and so they fudge the issue. I could respect them them if they were honest but now I not only disagee with them, I have lost all respect or belief that they are acting with integrity.

Usually I am polite and diplomatic, respecting and accepting other people's expressions of their faith. I really do try to listen to those with whom I disagree on matters of human sexuality but I've had it.

I think the Panel of Reference's recommendations on the application by Fort Worth was the next to last straw. The last straw has been the silence of our own church and every other church that ordains women. There are no words to express the depth of betrayal I feel by this silence.

There is no other aspect of Western society that would allow marginalization of women but we allow it in our expressions of faith. Why? When I read the gospels I see no basis for it. Jesus was affirming of women,their abilities and actions. That comes through even after the patriarchal cover-ups and suppressions through the centuries. Why do so many people place women as second class citizens in our religion? Why do we women accept it?

I am a Christian. I accept Christ as my personal saviour. I do my best to follow his teachings. But I am reaching the point where I cannot accept the church's treatment of me (meaning my gender) just because I happen to be a woman (a thing I celebrate daily). I love my parish and my people and that is what keeps me going for now. I accept my call by God and that is what keeps me here. (I only wish that I could also celebrate that call but I can't because it constantly places me in a position where I am made to feel less - I guess that is the cross I am called to bear in my ministry - but I don't have to like it.) The words from other parts of the Communion and the silence afterwards from my own church here in Canada are deafening. I am beginning to wonder how much longer I can stay spiritually intact if I stay.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Hi Ann Marie!
Good to see you back online. I was hoping to connect with you on Saturday night, but I poked my head into the Oak room at the Parktown, and quickly retreated upon seeing all the people there ... I didn't want to make my way in in the midst of speeches, so I chickened out! I hope your dad is doing better ... how is it going?
Well, reading your post has gotten my fires going again. I have said right from the start that the issues of women in the church and queer folk in the church are totally interlinked. If gays and lesbians lose out in this battle, women will be next in line. Its all about gender and power, and I don't know why more people don't see that!!!
I must tell you that having finally made up my own mind to put my cards on the table and refuse to continue in our church's discrimination against GLBTT folk, I feel so much more free, and "spiritually intact", than I have been for the past 2 years. I still don't know what the consequences will be, and I certainly hate the waiting period, but whatever comes, I feel strong in my decision.
More reflections about your reflection brewing in my head, but no time right now ... time for bed!
Hope to talk to you soon.
Much peace,
Shawn